As martial artists… We have many… Wait… As humans we have responsibilities. (you see what this case specific marketing crap has done to me… Trying to relate everything to my target customer… My target customer is anyone that’s wanting to grow and own their skills through time and energy, and not have their practice or skillset exist only in the dojo, or the academy, or the class, or the workplace… Remember it’s not yours, and it may not be real, if you can’t “walk with it”)
Walking with it is the responsibility. Sometimes when we walk we stumble, we trip, we fall, we may even strut our stuff, either way we’re existing with what we know, do, and are. I’m always yammering on about practice and learning and growth… I’ll keep that part simple by just saying, “really? You can read, but you’re not sure if practice makes you better at stuff? Stop being “Protarded”
Protarded- one who is actively pursuing and/or proactive about activities that help them become worse at stuff, or retarding their own growth as well as others.
It’s my responsibility to say that I am not a Fitness instructor and this is not a service industry. I do provide a service, and there is a ton of fitness and exercise involved with this training. However, to be able to walk with this we must first realize that when we’re around our teachers, are we making the most of our time by expecting them to tell us to do push ups and stretch? Or… is it in our best interest to take advantage of their knowledge while we’re with them?
As students we have a responsibility to trust our teachers. Sometimes we’re going to be challenged (mentally physically or spiritually) its’ funny how often physical challenges are invited in the fitness world because usually theres a bravado or ego building at the end. Plus that means we’re getting more “fit” thus tapping into our aesthetic goals of washboard abs, firming up, and of course that sense of accomplishment, that carries through your next couple days as we tell our co workers how sore we are. “man that guy killed me yesterday”. However, sometimes we be challenged by having to exercise patients, or perhaps learning some theory first. this is a time to trust and see that you’re investing in your health, by gaining knowledge.
I’ve had some great teachers… The best advice I got from a teacher was “touch your toes on your own time, do your pushups on your own time… You don’t pay me to tell you to touch your toes, you know how to do your conditioning… Don’t waste time… Mine or yours.”
I know what you’re thinking. For the first month, sometimes year, we will be learning stretches, conditioning sets, etc… The more we practice this stuff, the more we can dive into the subtleties of what our teachers know. Also one of the most common things I hear from people looking for a trainer is, “I won’t do it on my own, I need someone there to push me”
Amen, I completely understand. Group training is great too, being a part of a community, finding a training partner, but the delusion of “need” should be temporary, soon it will pass, and become a “want”… if we desire to move forward, get there early, work out on your own for a bit. Then when it’s time, get information, ask questions. Your time with your teacher could be the hardest training of your life that day, a new level of effort, or it may just be an information dump, then some homework. If we’re seeking knowledge, set up your foundation, mind, body, and spirit to be able to support and understand what’s available to you.
In the spiritual world we really need to hold ourselves responsible to allowing our teachers to be as human as they really are. Remember, your sensei, guru, sifu, teacher,… whatever, needs to make rent. Thus if it appears that they’re going to lose rent by being far from enlightened… they may just start faking it, the sad part is, many times others start believing it. Spiritual teachers are always riding the fine line of being cult leaders, why? Many reasons really… whether it’s ego or just wanting to screw runaways, wait that’s ego… or perhaps the students place some weird false lens around them and they just go with it. Next thing you know whoops… Cult. Or your teacher is afraid to be human because they may lose face. This is a sign of someone who isn’t a teacher yet. A spiritual practice is deep and takes time and devotion. Don’t just fall in because they spent the extra money on some trinkets or have read the books. let them be human and normal because they are.
The best and worst part about this, as a teacher, is when you let clients go to practice on their own. As a personal trainer, there’s a time when I’ll have a client a few days a week for months, the money’s good, but it’s temporary. My responsibility is to set up a framework to allow for practice and ownership of this information. Thus open mat times, they won’t see me as much, then they will again, then they won’t, it’s about a container for practice, not a cash cow of artificial need. I feel the financial hit isn’t hard enough to justify not setting up students become empowered with knowledge. Then they come back to sessions to learn new things, to get down to the details. It’s all about the details. Remember, You don’t own it if you can’t walk with it.
My buddy Donovan is a great yogi and teacher, he was told while going through his teacher training “if you want to get rich, keep your students beginners”… This is the way of marketing, capitalism, and now health. By the way he does not teach with this ethic, his integrity is very strong, as was his teacher’s. This was not advice, it was an observation of the way this industry is heading.
It’s my responsibility to let you go to own what you know, you have to know that you don’t “need” me, but a good teacher is there to teach you that. They’re there to add value and substance, to move you forward, to “teach”… As a student, your responsible for your successes and growth, it’s your money, it’s your time. How are you spending it?